Staff profile

Dr Maren Huck

Lecturer in Animal Behavioural Ecology

Maren Huck holding a cat around her neck


Biology and Zoology


College of Science and Engineering


School of Built and Natural Environment

Research centre

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a senior lecturer in Animal Behavioural Ecology and the programme leader for the BSc (Hons) Zoology.

Teaching responsibilities

I participate in various modules in Biology and Zoology, including:

Furthermore, I am programme coordinator for all With Foundation programmes within the Environmental Sciences (Biology, Zoology, and the Geosciences).

Professional interests

I received my PhD at the University of Bielefeld, Germany / the German Primate Centre in Göttingen in 2004 with a study on behavioural, genetic, and hormonal aspects of the mating system of a small Neotropical primate species.

After a brief postdoc at the German Primate Centre extending my genetic studies on the species, I went for two years to the University of Sussex, where I studied the behaviour and social structure of urban badgers.

My next postdoc led me to Eastern Poland where I modelled in a GIS approach corridors and barriers for populations of wolves and lynx in Poland. I then started a collaboration with the Owl Monkey Project of Prof. E. Fernandez-Duque of the University of Pennsylvania (now Yale University) to study aspects of the mating system and male care in owl monkeys of northern Argentina.

Research interests

Generally I am interested in the evolution of mating systems and male care, with a special focus on mammals. I have started to establish a burying beetle colony at the university to allow students to study these topics in an invertebrate system.

I am also very interested in the behaviour and ecology of domestic cats as well as their impact on small mammal and bird populations.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, the International Primatological Society, and the Deutsche Ethologische Gesellschaft (German Ethological Society).

Additionally, I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Postgraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Teaching qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Research posts

International experience

In the media

Some of the research with my collaborator from Yale University has received media coverage (the Times (19th May 2014) and various international newspapers) and I have been interviewed by the Guardian (30th Jul 2013) to comment on scientific articles by others.

One of my articles on validating video-tracking to determine domestic cat behaviour has received considerable interest from the press, with a feature in Science Magazine (, radio interviews for the "Science Friday" programme ( and BYURadio (Constant Wonder). This also led to an interview with a production company (TVOntario, Canada), who came to film my cat Leyhausen and interview me for a documentary on the secret lives of domestic cats.  Additionally, the Washington Post, the Spanish newspaper El Pais, some Japanese TV broadcaster (Nippon TV) and the German international radio broadcaster “Deutsche Welle” all requested information about this study.

Recent publications




1999 - 2003